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The Ombudsman

Dynamic and assertive are descriptive for Ms. Gwendolien E. Mossel, affectionately known as Gwennie (Gwen), born in September 1969, in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Upon achieving her HAVO diploma at the Milton Peters College, Sint Maarten, Ms. Mossel furthered her education and pursued studies in law at the Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. It is there that she obtained her master’s degree in Notarial Law (‘Notarieel Recht’). During this time, Ms. Mossel also gained invaluable experience during a six (6) year tenure working as a Candidate-Notary at a Notary Office in the Netherlands.

In 2008, Gwendolien Mossel made the decision to return to Sint Maarten. On her return she served alongside then Lieutenant Governor, Franklyn Richards as Legal Advisor in the Cabinet of the Lieutenant Governor, where she had the privilege of advising on matters pertaining to Immigration law. 

From 2010 to 2011 she worked as lawyer (jurist) and acting head at the Immigration & Naturalization Department. From 2011 until April 2015 Ms. Mossel held the position of Policy Coordinator at the Immigration & Border Protection Service and acting head of the Admittance & Residence Department.

In May 2015 Ms. Mossel took on a new role as Legal Advisor at the Bureau Ombudsman.

In her role as Legal Advisor, Ms. Mossel provided legal advice, both internally and externally on issues relevant to the Ombudsman institution and general issues affecting the community. The position of Legal Advisor meant that Ms. Mossel’s responsibilities included the following:

  • Observing social and political developments;
  • Monitoring draft laws and regulations;
  • including their approval and ratification;
  • Research and assist with procedures for the Constitutional Court;
  • Conduct legal research as requested by the Ombudsman, as well as taking the initiative on topics essential for the improvement of the Ombudsman and the Bureau;
  • Development of simplified procedures to promote rapid solutions to complaints, avoiding lengthy investigations;
  • Distribute and monitor complaints received; supervise the work of the Complaint Officers; promote best quality service and investigative procedures;
  • Assist in activities to bring increased awareness to the Ombudsman and the Bureau.

As Legal Advisor, Ms. Mossel participated during May 2015 in an ‘Anti-Corruption, Procurement and Integrity Training’ in Curaçao, conducted by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (I.A.C.A.)

On February 14, 2017 Ms. Mossel was appointed substitute Ombudsman, where she saw her role at the Bureau increase incrementally as Legal Advisor and second in command to the Ombudsman.

In August 2017, she obtained a Certificate as Professional Mediator in Curaçao by Centrum voor Conflicthantereing (CvC).

On November 7, 2018 the Parliament of Sint Maarten unanimously approved the appointment of Ms. Mossel as the second Ombudsman of Sint Maarten, effective January 1, 2019, for a term of seven (7) years. Ms. Mossel was sworn in as Ombudsman of St. Maarten before the President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams on December 14, 2018.

As Ombudsman and Guardian of the Constitution, Ms. Mossel takes the lead of the Bureau, charged with protecting the rights of the people and ensuring every complaint is investigated in a fair, transparent, and impartial manner.

Ms. Mossel will continue to advance awareness of the role of the Ombudsman and the pivotal stake the Bureau holds in its work of collaborating with government to promote good governance in the interest of all.

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